TED Conversations

Phillip Beaver

Citizen, Humankind


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It seems the conversationalists herein have relegated the golden rule to the world’s list of bad ideas.

With good arguments defending the golden rule, the original question-- Can TEDsters relegate the golden rule to its proper place (in the world’s list of bad ideas)?--would seem bigoted.
However, Matthieu thought supporting arguments were convincing.
Alas, that assessment did not prevail, so I revised the question to: Since people want to keep or “revive” the golden rule how is it to be applied? Some responses seemed to be: Within my limiting circle. Yet, as the conversation progressed, some participants seemed to consider alternatives. Some may have been persuaded by Lelsie’s complete arguments.
Leslie suggested the platinum rule, “do unto others as THEY would have you do unto them.” It requires discussion and succeeds on integrity and reciprocity. An “ego agenda” changes to “we-go agenda.” People learn “to be appropriately independent and interdependent.” To avoid self-contradiction, they’re blunt about personal preferences.
If a rule is necessary for humankind to discover peace, it seems Leslie has a pretty complete package.
Few TEDsters participated, but I am grateful to every participant; the group seemed to get the task accomplished. Interested people should read the conversation for useful details.
Please comment during the remaining time, as I do not plan to extend this discussion.


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    Oct 10 2011: its rarely a case when advice is given, is it actually followed (advice alone). The reason people feel like they should give advice, is because they themselves, have experienced an event, where they were presented with a problem and were ignorant about the effects of their decision. The reason people seldom follow advice is because, they have no relation to the scenario and their emotions of their wants are greater. So what im trying to say is that no matter what the golden rule states, nothing will be done with it, if it is stated alone. Actions speak louder than words. The discovery of mirror neurons show a scientifc correlation between actions observed and instinct. So if we act how we want people to act, and we are successful in our actions, then those that observed us will instinctually act that way. Now what if those don't act in a universally accepted "good" way? then over time if not right away, the action will cause a decline in the well being of the individual. of course heres the bitch part about this thread.....why believe what i say?
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      Oct 10 2011: chandra, your concern seems universal: a person can learn a rule within their culture and think they understand it, but when they encounter someone from another culture feel uninformed about how to act.
      Also, it seems humans have in common the assumption that if they treat others with empathy, the others will eventually perceive the benefits (justice, peace, and the privilege of liberty) and begin to behave empathetically. And since so many people are misbehaving, there seems to be an overall decline in behavior.
      Finally, we understand a person’s motives by their behavior more than their thoughts.
      It is remarkable to me that the trend you indicate may be true for human behavior toward humans only. Recently, particular cultures have stopped or are re-considering long held traditions: a dog eating festival, bull fighting, and chicken-slaughter ceremonies. Yet, notice the demonstrations going on around the world demanding governance of the people by the people and for the people—it’s even happening in America, with the Wall Street sit ins.
      We may be in a more hopeful time than we realize.
      Please comment. Especially, correct me if I did not understand something you wrote—I re-write not to deny your words, but to give you the chance to correct my misunderstanding.
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        Oct 10 2011: Phillip i feel i that i didn't adequately address the question that was asked, so thats why i think you misinterperated what i said. To answer the original question, i think that people have both points of views about peace is, collective and individual. I believe it is collective for the reason that if you want just individual peace, yet you fail to awknoledge the community, they you will have a hard time finding peace, that is unless you move to tibet and seek peace for motives of spiritual enlightenment. excluding the dali lama, we all have to realize we are party of society so failure to live ones life accordingly is a statement that you don't care and should have no judgement about what happens to you. Its been seen in histroy with the story of christ, and a more modern individual Gandhi. Both Acted not simply preached and Nations were changed, which changed the world.
        I would also like to agree with you about how the times were in are showing people striving for change, but the problem here is that mass media only shows the negative side. If a population could be cut off from mass media then their efforts would have a greater efficacy, but until then even though we see them doing good, others are brought back down in motivation by still hearing negative stories even if those stories have little social impact. its in our nature to recall the bad not the good. * I also have ADD and its hard for me to transcribe my thoughts to type in a linear manor so i apologize if my logic is hard to follow.
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          Oct 10 2011: chandra, Jesus and Ganhi effected change. Socrates submitted life to obey unjust law. Martin Luther King, Jr., showed sacrificial leadership effects stepwise, needed improvement.
          However, none of them engendered lasting peace. Lasting change--peace--could occur one person at a time. With TED, one at a time could happen before my afterdeath.
          I am one: I took for granted the golden rule applied within my Christian sect until members of my sect told my Christian wife she would go to hell because she did not follow our sect. I re-examined my ideas. Then, I first saw the egocentricity of the golden rule and wrote about it.
          Today, I resist tribalism, one experience at a time--one person at a time. For example, a neighbor who lives nearby recently wrote that he had “dusted off his shoes,” after learning that I prefer other religious views for me yet support his for him. I asked if we were still good neighbors; his response was not reassuring. For him, treat others as you would like to be treated as long as they profess your religion and sect. Otherwise, the other gets dusted.
          Neither Confucius, Socrates, Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., nor anyone has been able to discourage the dusting corollary to the golden rule. They did not draw their circle large enough, or if they did, their promoters drew an exclusive circle.
          So, you might say I advocate a grass roots rejection of the golden rule in favor of something like Leslie’s “independence and interdependence” or Chrisopher Chalfant’s “Collective Consciousness,” the sense that we are all in it together. I think you are suggesting a similar idea. Let me know if I understand--or not.
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          Oct 11 2011: Hello, chandra, I see that I am worthy of a little dust, and that's ok. There are lots of ways to look at this, but basically, it seems to me you and I do not agree: no human is in a position to dust other humans and it is sad when they think they can. As a fundamentalist in faith in reality, I am intolerent of other people's dust--the dark side of the golden rule.
          I hope you will respnd to my intolerance.

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